Tag Archives: sedation dentistry

Is Sedation Dentistry Necessary For My Child?

My daughter is eight. She is a sweet, cooperative little girl, and generally healthy. We have maintained consistent dental habits, which include flossing and using mouthwash daily. She was recently diagnosed with a cavity at her last dental checkup.

When we returned to the dentist office for the cavity to be filled, she seemed a bit fidgety. It was as if she couldn’t get comfortable, and was nervous. This wasn’t surprising, as this was the first dental procedure she’d undergone. Therefore, I decided to leave the room, thinking my presence was causing her to be additionally worried, as sometimes has happened with her.

After some time had passed, I assumed everything was going smoothly, until I heard her screaming. When I rushed into the exam room, I found her curled into a ball on the table, unable to be consoled by the dentist or his assistant.

The dentist exited the room, to give me an opportunity to calm her down. When I asked the assistant to tell me what happened, she informed me that my daughter had clamped down on the dentist’s hand when he was trying to numb her, biting him, then began flailing and flinging her arms and legs. This also caused her to bite down on the drill, which cracked his tooth.

The dentist returned to check in on my daughter, but mentioned to me that a pediatric dentist may be a better fit.

I am concerned about the trauma this caused her, and what to do going forward. She is now in need of a crown, and I want to be sure this situation does not repeat itself. Should I consider sedation prior to her next procedure? I know very little about it, or its possible side effects, but know that my daughter cannot have another experience like this one.

Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Dear Janice,

It is unfortunate that your daughter went through this experience, especially considering she had several positive dental visits prior to this one.

It is good that your dentist suggested you find see a pediatric dentist, especially since she now has further damage, and has experienced such trauma. Perhaps you could schedule a routine checkup for your daughter with a pediatric dentist first. This way, she can learn about the dentist, become familiar with the office, and understanding what goes into a child’s first visit to a dentist.

Once she has a positive experience with the dentist, you could schedule a follow-up appointment for the crown procedure. And, you are correct, sedation dentistry may be the best option for her. But, dental anxiety is best addressed by communicating with your dentist. Perhaps you can privately share about her previous dental experience. This way, the pediatric dentist can help you determine if sedation dentistry is the route you should go, or, if there are other ways to address her nervousness and anxiety.

The right choice will ultimately depend on what types of sedation the dentist offers, as well as what you feel is the best fit for your daughter.

This blog post is brought to you by the office of Dr. Matt Roper, a Gilbert sedation dentist.

Pediatric Dentist Missed Long Coming Cavity

My son has a bit of trouble at the pediatric dentist’s office. We’ve only been twice, but both times they were unable to get x-rays on him. The exam and cleanings seem to go fine. The x-rays scare him. Both times, they’ve sent us on our way saying everything looked fine. Then, two days after our last appointment, he came to my room crying with a toothache and massive fever. I gave him some pain reliever and called the pediatric dentist. They weren’t open, so I called my dentist who agreed to see him. Thankfully, because he turned out to have a massive tooth infection on his back molar. My dentist was able to give him an x-ray without any problem. The decay was so bad he couldn’t save the tooth, which worries me because it was a molar. He gave him some dental sedation and extracted the molar right there. He said that cavity was a long time coming. How did the pediatric dentist miss it?


Dear Lucy,

A child holding a teddy bear at the pediatric dentists office

It’s hard to say why the pediatric dentist missed it. I’m curious as to what your dentist did differently than your pediatric dentist which helped your son feel comfortable with the x-rays. It sounds like your family dentist is good with children. If you’re not satisfied with your current pediatric dentist you may consider you and your son going to the same practice. It’s perfectly fine for general dentists to treat children if they’re good with them.

I’m glad your dentist was able to deal with the infection so quickly. That could have turned out horribly if it spread further. You’re right it’s a shame that the molar couldn’t be saved. Hopefully, your dentist placed a space maintainer there for him. Otherwise, your son’s teeth will shift and cause crowding in his teeth. That will mean expensive orthodontics. You definitely don’t want to deal with that.

Effective Pediatric Dental Care

You’re wise to take your son to the dentist regularly. Too many parents wait until there’s a dental emergency to bring their children to the dentist. That makes their first experience a negative one, which often leads to dental anxiety.

It sounds like he responded well to dental sedation for the extraction. That’s good news too. The goal in pediatric care, along with good oral health, is to feel positive about the dentist.

Hopefully, this infection hasn’t completely thrown him off and he can enjoy going again.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hillary Peck.

Is It Normal For Children to Freak Out About Cavities?

My son has always gone to the dentist just fine.  He’s even looked forward to the appointments. This last visit was a disaster. We found out he has a cavity. The dentist offered to fill it right then. That’s when everything fell apart. My son started screaming, went limp, slid out of the chair, and fled the room. Is this normal? I was mortified.

Sadie M.

Dear Sadie,

Pediatric Dentist

There could be a few things factoring into this.  First, it doesn’t sound like your dentist is skilled in working with children. Most children don’t do well when an unexpected medical treatment is suddenly thrust upon them.

He would have been better served if the dentist talked to him for a minute ahead of time to let him know what a cavity means and how easy it is to treat, in terms he could understand.

Talk to him about what he thought was going to happen. He may have heard a false horror story at school about what happens when you have a cavity at the dentist.

Maybe the dentist pulled out the needle for the anesthetic. That long puppy could scare a navy seal.  Dentists who work with children know ways of keeping that out of sight.

Sometimes children just can’t handle the idea of the needle anesthetic. Most pediatric dentists also offer sedation dentistry. This helps relax children. In fact, many of them completely sleep through the entire procedure.

I hope this helps.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.


Bummed My Son’s White Filling Keeps Falling Out

I don’t know what to do. I’ve been going to a pediatric dentist for my son. I wanted a white filling for him. The dentist understood that and gave him one. Or, at least he tried. He’s given him three and all of them have fallen out. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think it’s the pediatric dentist. He’s a respected dentist. He knows what he’s doing. Can you help me know what’s going on? I don’t want to give him a mercury filled filling.

Christina – New Jersey


I understand your feelings about mercury-free fillings. Many patients are opting for them. Some patients even insist on them. With children it’s tricky. The process is completely different than with ye old silver amalgam fillings. Composite fillings work almost like a glue. The surface is etched and then the composite is bonded to it. As you can imagine, even a tiny bit of moisture missed in during this bonding process will destroy the bond, which is why a lot of dentists prefer to use amalgam when they’re working on back teeth or helping wiggly children. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Without an examination it’s impossible to tell what the actual culprit is. But, moisture is the likely bad guy. With adults, you can usually work around this and take steps to keep the tooth dry during the procedure. Doctors generally use a mixture of cotton rolls, air, and dental dams to isolate the area they’re working on. Kids, especially little ones, have the tendency to fight this kind of stuff. They’ll move around in the chair, push their tongue into the preparation, and they aren’t typically fond of dental dams. So, when you get to the point where a parent really wants the white filling and the child can’t cooperate enough to keep it dry, sedation during the procedure becomes the next solution.

Dental sedation is not like surgical sedation. He will be conscious, but completely relaxed and very sleepy. It will help him stay still and cooperative during the procedure and is perfectly safe.

If you want to, you can get a second opinion from another pediatric dentist to determine if moisture is the actual issue. Then make a decision from there.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Can I Self-Medicate Before Going to the Dentist’s Office?

I’m not a fan of the dentist. But, I’ve got a toothache and need to go. I have a valium prescription. Can I just take one of those before I go in? Also, I don’t have a dentist. Is there a secret passcode to get in quickly?

Stina L. – Georgia


We’ll start with the secret passcode. Generally, if you tell a dentist you have a dental emergency they’ll try hard to fit you in. Most dentists are compassionate and got into the field because they want to help people.

Now, if you get that appointment we need to help you with your anxiety. While you can take valium, it will affect what your dentist is able to do. Some medications he’ll need to give you could be contraindicative for valium. I have a solution for you, though.

When you google for emergency dentists, look for one who also does sedation dentistry. This is actually better than valium. Depending on the type of sedation used, it can give you a completely relaxed, pain-free experience.

If, for some reason, you decide to just take the valium instead be sure you let the dentist know you took some, along with any other medication in your system. Even tell him about over-the-counter medication. It’s important you do that. It could save your life.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Kevin Peck.

Afraid of the dentist and have emergency

I’ve been afraid of the dentist for quite some time. I probably haven’t been in about five years. Now, I’ve got quite a toothache and I don’t know what to do about it.  Well, I know go to the dentist, but I get a knot in my stomach like you wouldn’t believe. Is there anything I can take for that?

Muriel H. – Delaware


I’m sorry for the fear you’ve been experiencing. As you’ve probably guessed, avoiding the dentist causes more problems. Anything you take at home is likely to interfere with anything your dentist will want to give you.

There is medication your dentist can give you to help relax you.  IT will make the appointment go much easier for you. I realize that because you haven’t been to the dentist in about five years, that it may mean you don’t have a regular dentist.

If that is the case, you still need to get in quickly before the infection spreads. There are emergency dentists that will see you quite soon, some even the same day. Make sure you go to an emergency dentist that is also equipped to give you some form of sedation as well, so you won’t have to deal with the anxiety as well.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentists Drs. Kevin and Hilary Peck.

DIY Tooth repair

I’ve been seeing some videos about DIY tooth repair. There is tooth filling material at the drug store.  Is this a legit thing?  I’ve had a toothache and have been putting off going to the dentist because…well, I’m a dental chicken.  I’m wondering if this DIY is the solution I’ve been looking for, but don’t want to waste time on something that doesn’t actually work.

Marvin G. – Alabama


I’m glad you asked this, because it will save you serious trouble down the road.  That tooth filling material you see at the pharmacy is meant to be a temporary stop gap until you get to the dentists–at the most a few days. It’s useful if you lost a filling and are waiting for your appointment or are out of town.

I don’t know which videos you are referring to, but wondered how did they propose you get out the infected and / or material?  That’s an important step that can’t be ignored.   Otherwise, you’re leaving the infection.  It’s like wrapping a bandage on a broken arm.

Don’t feel bad about being a dental chicken. Around 20% of American’s are.  I don’t know if you have a dentist or not, but if you do, ask him or her to use dental sedation during your appointment. It will allow you to get your infection cared for without pain.

If you don’t have a dentist, an emergency dentist will see you, usually the same day, even if you’re not an established patient.  I would make sure they do sedation as well.  It will give you  a much more pleasant  dental experience and will help you with the dental anxiety you’ve been experiencing.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.

Extensive Decay in a six year old

There is extensive decay in my six year old’s mouth. He needs six teeth worked on that have deep cavities. It has gotten to the point that it is painful for him to eat. I’m assuming he’ll need some root canal treatments as well. The problem I have is no matter what dentist I bring him to, he throws too much of a fit for them to do any work on him. What do you recommend?

BreeAnn- Utah


You need to look for a pediatric dentist who also does sedation dentistry. The sedation will keep your child from panicking and allow the dentist to do the necessary work.

You also need to do something much more difficult. The way a child of six gets that much decay is from frequent eating. You are going to have to say no to your child’s snacking. Get him to not eat for 3-4 hours in a row so that he’ll be thoroughly hungry and eat sufficiently to not need to snack so much.

This blog is brought to you by Pediatric Dentist Dr. Hilary Peck.

Afraid of getting my wisdom teeth out

My dental x-rays said my wisdom teeth aren’t coming in correctly. I don’t want to have them taken out because I am terrified of being put to sleep. Is there anyway I can just leave them and they can still come in OK?

Miranda R. – Wyoming


First, if the x-rays show that your wisdom teeth are impacted, there is no way they’ll come in properly. You really do need to have them removed or you’ll likely have serious problems later.

To put your mind at ease, bear in mind that you will not have to be put to sleep to have them removed. You can just have a local anesthetic to numb the area and you can be conscious (but pain free) for the entire procedure.

You may also be interested in our teeth whitening service.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.